5 reasons why career coaching is so vital during an MBA

MBA career coaching is so much more than interview tips and CV workshops. In fact, it could help you grow in confidence, become a better person, and secure your dream job. To find out more, we spoke to Lonneke Korenromp, the Head of Career Services and Alumni Relations at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam.

In short

1. Career coaching can help you change careers

One of the most important aspects of your MBA journey is the career coaching you’ll receive during it. Far from being just interview tips and CV workshops, it’s a chance to build on the skills you learn during the program and learn how to apply them in real-life scenarios.

Lonneke Korenromp is the Head of Career Services and Alumni Relations at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She explained to MBAGRADSCHOOLS how career coaching is relevant whether or not you’re planning to stay in your current role after graduating.

“As part of your MBA you can choose to enroll for career coaching,” says Lonneke. “You’ll be working with me or one of the other coaches on questions that are relevant to your professional growth. They might help you in your current position, or they might help you transition to a new role or field.” (01:59)

2. You’ll gain clarity in your career

Some people enter MBA programs with a clear idea in their mind of what they want to do afterward. But, many others don’t know what their next steps will be – and that’s fine. Part of career coaching is about clarifying your career goals and figuring out what you want to do after your MBA. According to Lonneke, that process begins by digging deeper into your personality and motivations.

“As a coach, I work with you to help you reflect on what is really important for you,” she says. “How do you look at the situation you’re in? Are there other perspectives? What are your thoughts and values? Answering these questions can help you make the right decisions and choose a career that’s right for you.” (00:42)

“That’s what we work with as coaches,” she adds. “We help MBA students clarify what is really important to them, where they want to go, what their goals are, and what type of leader they want to be.” (01:43)

3. You’ll improve every aspect of your leadership skills

Leadership isn’t just about leading or managing other people. One of the most important aspects of leadership is having the ability to lead yourself. That comes through things like understanding your strengths and weaknesses, making the right decisions, and regulating your emotions. Lonneke says this distinction between leading yourself and leading others forms the bedrock of career coaching at VU.

“I think most students choose an MBA because they want to grow as a leader for others, but also for themselves,” she explains. “The program at VU is designed to facilitate this by submerging you in practical assignments during your MBA.” (02:37)

Becoming a better leader doesn’t come by learning to lead other people. It comes by understanding leadership as a whole and all of the aspects that make it up. According to Lonneke, gaining this holistic view of leadership will change your perspective on it.

How are you a leader when it comes to ethics? How are you a leader when it comes to leading yourself? What about leading others? There are all these different aspects that are relevant to leadership and we make sure that all of them are part of the MBA,” she says. (04:07)

4. MBA career coaching is also a key part of your personal development

MBA career coaching, despite the name, isn’t solely focused on your career. One of its other main benefits comes in your personal development. You’re learning skills that will benefit your career, but these skills can also be transferred to your personal life. Lonneke says one of the best parts of her job is seeing the personal growth of her students during the program.

“Over the course of our monthly meetings, I can see how they’re building their confidence, gaining new perspectives, and really taking big steps in their personal development.” (05:43)

5. You’ll be able to better balance work and personal life

Work-life balance has never been as important to so many people as it has in 2022. In fact, a recent Mercer survey suggests almost half of workers would move to a new company if it meant improving their well-being. With that in mind, career coaching in the VU MBA helps you strike the right balance between your work and personal life.

“Students often ask: How can I balance my work and personal life? How will I make sure I still have a social life during my career? It’s about finding that balance and learning about energy management,” says Lonneke. (06:22)

It’s an unexpected benefit of career coaching – but one that is reflective of the changing priorities of the workplace. Just like MBA programs themselves, MBA career coaching must adapt to these changes so that students get the help and support they’re looking for. Ultimately, that’s what career coaching is all about: giving you the tools you need to grow as a person and develop your career.

Want to learn more about the benefits of MBA career coaching? Then contact one of our MBA ambassadors, who will be happy to share their own experiences of it with you.

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